Dr Stephen Porges, researcher and author of The Polyvagal Theory, has spent decades studying the Vagus Nerve, a cranial nerve that is responsible for many of the body functions related to anxiety. His research shows that when the the body is in the physiological state of fight-or-flight, a person is no longer functioning on a cognitive level. In other words, when someone becomes anxious, the brain is not in charge; the body is. Because of this, all the reasoning in the world cannot help a person when they are in an anxious state. Calming the body is the only solution. Once calm, cognitive functioning returns and reasoning and discussion can have an impact.
In our work at Key to Me, we have found that some individuals are struggling with anxiety as their primary issue, while for others, it is a secondary response generated largely by their processing differences. In both cases, calming the nervous system and reducing a person's tendency to go into a reactive state will help reduce anxiety.
There are two way to reduce anxiety. First, reduce the body's misperceptions of information, which may be triggering unnecessary fear responses. For example, an individual with sound sensitivities will become anxious at the thought of going to a busy, noisy place. This is because a person with a sound sensitivity is in physical pain when in such a place, so will do anything to avoid it. Healing the sound sensitivity will take away this painful experience. Once the person experiences a crowd without also experiencing pain, he or she will become less afraid of such an environment.
For those who have experienced trauma or have generalized anxiety, improving the functioning of the Vagus nerve (cranial nerve responsible for states of readiness in the body) will help reduce the tendency to become anxious. Key to Me Therapy uses both the Safe & Sound Protocol (developed by Dr Stephen Porges) and Dynamic Listening to improve perceptions and heal trauma and reactivity.